Three of the losing teams on Tuesday night are presumed NBA playoff contenders now starting behind the eight ball. Brooklyn, LA Clippers, and Miami are all below .500 early in the season. Yeah, it’s only been 10 days, but when the eight ball speaks, we ought to listen:
We also get the weird coincidence of the three teams that lost in regulation all scoring exactly 110 points. Not the best night across the association for defense.
Mavericks need overtime to pull away from KD and Kyrie, 129-125
Got a lot of spunk in this one between a Kyrie Irving v. Christian Wood stretch in the second quarter, David Duke Jr. making good use of some spot bench minutes, Royce O’Neale having some greater-than-Royce-O’Neale moments, and some Luka Magic:
Closely contested for most of the game, Dallas took a double-digit lead early in the fourth, and that was enough to hang onto even through overtime. Luka finished with 41 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists, and 3 steals to push the Mavs to 2-2 on the season.
Nets meanwhile fall to a dismal 1-4 (only win coming by four points at home against Toronto) and struggled to generate much support for Kevin Durant and Irving. The two combined for 76 points (including Brooklyn’s last 30 of 32 over a nearly 14-minute stretch), 9 assists, 5 steals, and 5 blocks on the night.
OKC beats Clippers second time in a row, 118-110
OKC came out on top on Tuesday and they do it again on Thursday. John Wall had 12 points in 11 first half minutes off the bench, helping LA to a 60-53 halftime lead. However, Thunder had other ideas for the second half, winning those 24 minutes 65-50.
Clippers fall to 2-3 after a 2-0 start that looks pretty iffy considering the wins came over their crosstown rival Lakers and in-state opponent Kings by a combined 8 points.
Conversely, the tanking Thunder are also 2-3, but feeling quite a bit different than the Clips. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was impressive again, pouring in 24 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals in 34 minutes.
Warriors pull away from Heat late in 3-point shootout, 123-110
These two combined to shoot 32-89 from deep in this game, and it won’t be any surprise to know that the team that shot just a little bit better – Warriors (3-2) shot 39.1% and Heat (2-4) shot 32.6% – came out just a little bit in front. Steph Curry helped put it away with 10 points over the final 5:32, finishing with 33 points (11-22 FG); it’s his fourth 30-point game in five tries.
Grizzlies handle business at Sacramento, 125-110
Ja Morant and Desmond Bane combined for 53 points and 10 assists while five other Grizzlies joined them in double-figure scoring. Bane by himself racked up 6 threes on 8 attempts, including this clinic to close the half:
De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 27 points (11-19 FG) but is still trying to get Sacramento their first win of the season, now 0-4.
Grizzlies move to 4-1 with two games in a row in Salt Lake against the surprisingly impressive Utah Jazz on deck.